University of Southern California
University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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About Us
About Us

Meet Our Trojan Family

Sarina Tetley ‘17

Sarina Tetley ‘17

Minor in Occupational Science program

Major: Psychology

Hometown: Dove Canyon, CA

What brought you to USC?
The Occupational Therapy program was truly the deciding factor that brought me to USC. I was looking for a field that incorporated my interests in Clinical Psychology and Physical Rehabilitation while providing care from a holistic view. I took my first tour of the Master’s Program in OT at USC when I was a senior in high school, and from that point on, I knew I wanted to be an Occupational Therapist and that USC would provide me with an education that would help me achieve my career and life goal of becoming an Occupational Therapist. The tremendous support of the Trojan Family, the opportunities that are available to Undergraduate students at USC, and the overall passion for higher education and success from the supportive faculty and staff were just some of the additional reasons that I chose USC.

What made you decide to pursue the occupational science minor?
I decided to pursue a minor in Occupational Science in order to explore my passion for Occupational Therapy and learn as much as I can about the field before pursing my graduate education in OT. The Occupational Science minor is a special opportunity that I would have not been able to pursue if I had decided to attend another university. The OS minor allows students who are pursuing an undergraduate degree in an alternative field with the opportunity to learn about Occupational Therapy and how we can utilize our knowledge from diverse fields and bring that knowledge into practice, as a future Occupational Therapists.

Describe your favorite occupational science minor course.
My favorite Occupational Science minor course is OT 360, Creating the Self through Narrative: Acts of Life Story Production, with Dr. Kate Crowley. This course truly opened my eyes to the bountiful opportunities that are available not only to us as Occupational Therapists, but also to the diverse populations that we serve. After learning about Dr. Mattingly’s work in Narrative Medicine, and encouragement from Dr. Crowley, I found a new passion within the field of Occupational Therapy. I currently work alongside Dr. Rogers in providing Occupational Therapy to Active Duty Marines and Veterans of all branches and I love hearing their stories, but I also love learning about their future goals and helping them achieve those goals through Occupational Therapy. Through OT 360 I learned that each person has a unique story which is being written every day. As a future Occupational Therapist, I hope to provide my patients with the opportunity and ability to achieve their goals and live out the future Narrative that they have imagined for themselves.

Tell us about your favorite memory at USC so far.
So far, my favorite memory at USC has been the USC Adventure L.E.A.D. program’s high ropes course at Fulcrum Adventures. This course was extremely difficult mentally, emotionally and physically. I have a fear of heights and this course tested that fear in every challenge. The one challenge, or opportunity as I like to say, that was the most daunting was appropriately named the “Leap of Faith”. This challenge required one to climb up a 40ft pole, carefully get up on top of a small platform, stabilize the shaking pole, and finally gain the courage to stand up and jump off to grab a golden ring that was suspended mid-air. This opportunity pushed me out of my comfort zone, but it also provided me with the opportunity to grow as a person. I learned that fear is imaginary and danger is real. I also learned that I am in control of my fear and that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to as long as I commit to it, no matter how intimidating it may be. 

How do you want to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as someone who was always willing to help people. I want to be remembered as someone who never gave up and always stayed positive despite life’s hurdles. I want to be remembered as someone who put her faith and family before herself, and as someone who sought to make the world a better place one person at a time.

If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?
If I could travel anywhere I would go to two countries in a heartbeat, with my camera in tow. The first would be Ecuador. My grandma moved to the U.S. from Ecuador at a young age and I would love to go to Ecuador with her and “travel back in time” as we explore the places she often frequented. The second country I would travel to would be Norway. I would love to hike in the fjords and take the mail boat around the coastline to explore the small coastal towns and truly integrate myself into Norwegian culture and get to know the local people. Traveling is so powerful because it connects to the international community and teaches us to be citizens of the world.